Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Creamy Squash Soup - Italian Style

In Autumn, squash abound and while this recipe uses pumpkin, you may feel free to substitute any other suitable squash such as butternut or acorn.

2 c. cooked pumpkin(roasted is best, but steamed in the microwave is okay)
2 strips bacon
1 med-large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 - 14.5 oz cans of low-sodium chicken broth
1 russet potato, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato or yam, peeled and chopped
1 can evaporated milk(feel free to get the ff one)
1/4 t nutmeg, freshly grated
salt and pepper
1/2 t thyme
2 roasted red peppers, chopped
pinch red pepper flake
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and chopped, or sub 1/4 t dried rosemary leaves, crushed

Garnish: Fresh chopped rosemary or parsley, herbed parm croutons, crumbled bacon, and/or sour cream(reg or ff)

In large soup pot, render bacon then remove the crisp crumbles and set aside when done. Add celery, carrots and onion and cook until tender. Add a bit of EVO if necessary. Add the seasonings, herbs and garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add potatoes, pumpkin and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, covering. Cook approximately 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
Set aside off of the stove and allow soup to cool slightly, then use a traditional or immersion blender to process until smooth. Then return the soup to the pot, adding evaporated milk, allowing to heat through. Check for seasoning and re-season if necessary.
Serve soup garnished with herbs, sour cream, bacon, and or parmesan croutons.

Parmesan Croutons:
Cube stale or older bread and toss in a bowl with a bit of EVO, a pinch of salt, Italian herb blend, and grated parmesan cheese. Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 F until lightly browned and toasty.

Rec: Pair with Autumn Spinach Salad.

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